Gerald started keeping fish at age nine and by ten bred his first species, Colisa lalia. He was hooked and soon after bred three more Colisa species (chuna, fasciata and labiosa). At age twelve, he read All About Bettas by Walt Maurus and instantly knew that wild Bettas were in his future. However, it being the 1970’s and living in Oklahoma, the future would be a long time in waiting until he would enter college in the 80’s. From there he was able to use the library’s resources to research articles on wild Bettas and establish connections in the hobby. Gerald would soon join the International Betta Congress (IBC) and finally procure his own wild Betta stock. It wouldn’t be long before he would be writing his own articles on his own observations and experiences. In the meantime, Gerald was also busy with the domesticated Betta splendens and their genetics. From there, Gerald would establish and become the President of the Oklahoma Betta Breeders Association.
In 2000, Gerald’s passion for fish was reignited as family and career responsibilities were settling, and would jump head-first back into domestic and wild Bettas. Since the world was quickly changing and wild habitats were being destroyed before science could observe and record, Gerald would help establish the IBC Species Management Program to identify keepers and breeders of wild Bettas worldwide in an effort to share knowledge, stock, and information before species would disappear from the wild forever.
Today, Gerald is running 80 plus aquariums dedicated to all types of fish both fresh and saltwater but his first love will always be Bettas and Anabantoids. Gerald is currently President of the Oklahoma Aquarium Association and has served as the BAP, HAP, and Presentations chair. Also, he is currently the President of the multistate Betta Chapter SCUBA, President of the Oklahoma Betta Breeders Association, Treasurer for the American Labyrinth Fishes Association, and editor of the IBC periodic magazine, FLARE. In all this, he is also currently the Judging Board Chair of the IBC having just rewritten the international judging standards for show Bettas.